Here’s Why You Should Focus on Building Your Career
Many people fail to understand the difference between having a career and working at a job. To properly define a career, it can be looked at as a progression of fulfilling occupations that relate and build on each other. It has a long term orientation, as it’s something you build over a lifetime. This enables growth in the personal and professional domain and fosters innovation and learning. On the other hand, a job tends to be more short term oriented as they are usually disconnected from each other, making it difficult for any growth to be achieved. An engineering student working part-time as a cashier in a supermarket can be said to have a job instead of a career at that point, for instance.
Secondly, a career usually resembles your personal passions and goals. It should be a true manifestation of your professional ambitions. As a result, the level of personal investment and commitment towards your responsibilities is usually higher, but so is job satisfaction. When working in a job, you tend to perform simple tasks that essentially have little to do with your personal interest. The underlying motivation here is then the salary, and nothing more. This causes a lower level of job satisfaction and can be rather demotivating instead. To add to that, a career is aligned with your individual values. It represents what you as an individual stand for and how you seek to live your life. Conversely, a job typically has no relation to your individual values and can therefore be contradictory to what you stand for as an individual.
Moreover, a career revolves around accumulating experience in a particular field, ultimately resulting in you becoming a specialist in that field. This level of specialization will not only be personally satisfying, but can also result in opportunities to climb the corporate ladder and receive generous increments in your salary. This level of enrichment is preferable to performing multiple jobs in many unrelated fields, as this doesn’t manifest into anything. As there is little consistency and continuity, growth opportunities are limited and so are salary increments.
To sum up, while jobs can seem like a quick and easy source of income, it is often the growth trajectory of a career that benefits you greater both in terms of pay and also personal satisfaction. However, it is important to note that the job you many be at today can be the beginning of a career path you haven’t been considering.